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Accreditation Orientation. HIGHLANDS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE. What is Accreditation?. The bestowing of credentials symbolizing approval from a professional organization upon practitioners or specific institutions. Acronyms. CFA: The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation

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accreditation orientation



what is accreditation
What is Accreditation?

The bestowing of credentials symbolizing approval from a professional organization upon practitioners or specific institutions.

  • CFA: The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation
  • FCAC: The Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, Inc.
  • FLA-PAC: The Florida Police Accreditation Coalition
  • CJSTC: The Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission
  • FMJS Florida Model Jail Standards
  • JTA: Job Task Analysis
  • FCIC: Florida Crime Information Center
  • NCIC: National Crime Information Center
the process
The Process
  • Application
  • Self-Assessment
  • Mock Assessment
  • On-Site Assessment
  • Commissioner Review
  • Maintaining Compliance

The Sheriff’s Office must submit an application to the Commission to participate in the state accreditation process.

Self Assessment

The object of the self assessment is to ensure that Sheriff’s Office members are adequately prepared to meet the requirements of accreditation. This includes the review and interpretation of standards, collection of necessary documentation, and implementation of required audit procedures.

on site assessment
On-Site Assessment

The Sheriff’s Office requests an on-site assessment when the accreditation manager believes the Sheriff’s Office has met or exceeds the compliance levels required for accreditation.

Depending upon the accreditation three or more assessors may be selected. Most assessments are conducted over a three day period.

The first day of the on-site assessment usually begins with an entrance interview with the Sheriff, Accreditation Manager, and other Command Staff to discuss the scope of the assessment and the schedule of activities.

on site assessment continued
On-Site Assessment(continued)

Following the entrance interview, the assessors will take part in a variety of activities including a Sheriff’s Office tour, interviews, and a review of the accreditation files. The file review is the most labor intensive of these activities.

Prior to leaving the Sheriff’s Office, at the conclusion of the assessment, the assessment team will conduct an exit interview with the Sheriff, the Accreditation Manager, and other appropriate Command Staff to discuss the results of the assessment and all findings of non-compliance and other issues.

commission review
Commission Review

The second to the last step of the accreditation process is the panel review. A panel of Commissioners are appointed to review the assessment report and clarify any remaining issues.

commission review1
Commission Review

After completing their review, the commission panel will make a recommendation to the full commission to award or deny accreditation to the Sheriff’s Office.

maintaining compliance and reaccreditation
Maintaining Compliance and Reaccreditation

In order to maintain its accredited status, the Sheriff’s Office must apply for reaccreditation and repeat the five step accreditation process from the beginning.

During the three year period following the commission granting the Sheriff’s Office accreditation, the Sheriff’s Office submits annual certification reports confirming continued standard compliance at levels necessary for accreditation.

maintaining compliance and reaccreditation continued
Maintaining Compliance and Reaccreditation (continued)
  • Requires continued participation by all Sheriff’s Office members.
  • Requires compliance with policies (G.O.’s, SOP’s, etc.)
  • Requires documentation to be complete and accurate.
  • Review of policies and approval prior to changes/updates.
law enforcement accreditation
Law Enforcement Accreditation

CFA – 276 Standards, 153 Mandatory

Mandatory standards deal with life, health, and safety issues; legal matters; and law enforcement practices; or conditions that reduce high liability exposure.

Standards that are “other-than-mandatory” address current law enforcement practices or good business practices. The Sheriff’s Office must comply with at least 80%.

cfa accreditation chapters
CFA Accreditation Chapters
  • Chapter 19 - Juvenile Operations
  • Chapter 20 - Unusual Occurrences
  • Chapter 22 – Traffic Law Enforcement
  • Chapter 21 – Special Operations
  • Chapter 23 – Traffic Crash Investigations
  • Chapter 24 – Traffic Direction & Control
  • Chapter 25 – Traffic Ancillary Services
  • Chapter 26 – Criminal Intelligence
  • Chapter 27 – Misconduct Complaint Process
  • Chapter 28 – Public Information
  • Chapter 29 – Prisoner/Detainee Transportation
  • Chapter 30 – Holding Areas
  • Chapter 31 – Court Security
  • Chapter 32 – Civil Process
  • Chapter 33 – Communications
  • Chapter 34 – Records
  • Chapter 35 – Evidence
  • Chapter 36 – Property
  • Chapter 37 – Infectious Diseases
  • Chapter 38 – Forfeitures
  • Chapter 39 – Interview Rooms
  • Chapter 1 - Organization
  • Chapter 2 - Authority
  • Chapter 3 - Written Directive System
  • Chapter 4 - Use of Force
  • Chapter 5 - Part-time Sworn & Auxiliary Members
  • Chapter 6 - Civilian Volunteer Program
  • Chapter 7 - Fiscal Activities
  • Chapter 8 - Classification and Delineation of Duties
  • Chapter 9 - Off-Duty an d Extra-Duty


  • Chapter 10 - Grievance Process
  • Chapter 11 - Conduct & Disciplinary Process
  • Chapter 12 - Recruitment
  • Chapter 13 - Selection Process
  • Chapter 14 - Training
  • Chapter 15 - Promotions
  • Chapter 16 - Performance Evaluations
  • Chapter 17 - Field Personnel
  • Chapter 18 - Investigations
corrections accreditation
Corrections Accreditation

FCAC – 241 Standards, 97 Mandatory

Mandatory standards deal with life, health, and safety issues; legal matters; essential correctional practices; or conditions that reduce high liability exposure.

FCAC Standards are derived primarily from the Florida Model Jail Standards.

Standards that are “other-than-mandatory” address current correctional practices or good business practices.

The Sheriff’s Office must be in compliance with at least 90% of the applicable “other than mandatory standards”.

fcac accreditation chapters
FCAC Accreditation Chapters
  • Chapter 12 – Programs
  • Chapter 13 – Clothing and Bedding
  • Chapter 14 – Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Chapter 15 – Food Service
  • Chapter 16 – Direct Supervision Jails
  • Chapter 17 – Admission, Classification, and Release of Juveniles
  • Chapter 18 – Juvenile Housing
  • Chapter 19 – Medical Section
  • Chapter 20 – Pharmacy
  • Chapter 21 – Public Information
  • Chapter 22 – Physical Plant and Safety
  • Chapter 1 – General Administration
  • Chapter 2 - Written Directive System
  • Chapter 3 - Fiscal Services
  • Chapter 4 - Personnel
  • Chapter 5 - Training
  • Chapter 6 - Security and Control
  • Chapter 7 - Order and Discipline
  • Chapter 8 - Special Operations
  • Chapter 9 - Admission, Classification, and Release of Adults
  • Chapter 10 – Inmate Housing
  • Chapter 11 – Privileges
benefits to members
Benefits to Members
  • Clearly defined lines of authority
  • Consistency in operational procedures
  • Provides a quality work environment
  • Increases member morale through statewide recognition
benefits to the sheriff s office
Benefits to the Sheriff’s Office
  • Strengthens the Sheriff’s Office defense against lawsuits and complaints
  • Review of Sheriff’s Office status and readiness
  • Possible reduction in insurance liability
  • More efficient use of limited resources
benefits to the sheriff
Benefits to the Sheriff
  • Ensure general orders and procedures are documented and defendable
  • Assurance members are trained according to the Sheriff’s general orders and procedures
  • Increases availability of decision-making information
  • Increased confidence in the Sheriff’s ability to lead the organization
benefits to the community
Benefits to the Community
  • Increased confidence in the Sheriff’s Office ability to deliver quality service
  • Improved community and Sheriff’s Office interaction
  • Efficient use of enforcement tax dollars
  • Better trained members
written directives
Written Directives
  • General Orders
  • Standard Operating Procedures, Plans, Rules and Regulations
  • Special Orders
  • State laws
  • Mutual Aid Agreements
examples of supporting documentation
Examples of Supporting Documentation
  • Budget Documents
  • Correspondence
  • Inspection Records
  • Interviews
  • Job Descriptions or JTA’s (Job Task Analysis)
  • Lesson Plans
  • Logs and Records
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Memorandums
  • News Articles
  • Observations
  • Performance Evaluations
  • Photographs
  • Reports
  • Rosters
  • Training Records
proof guidelines
Proof Guidelines

For initial accreditation, proofs for existing policies should demonstrate compliance for the twelve month period prior to the onsite.

Proofs for policies issued during the self-assessment phase should demonstrate compliance from the date of the policy.

For reaccreditation, proofs should reflect 3 years of compliance.

member accreditation responsibilities
Member Accreditation Responsibilities

Review your General Orders with special attention to your area of assignment.

Be prepared to answer questions posed by the Assessors. They may ask specific questions concerning your individual responsibilities within your area of assignment as well as questions about the Sheriff’s Office general orders.

Achieving and maintaining accreditation is not the work of one individual, it involves the efforts of the entire Sheriff’s Office.